After “a swift firefight that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding” Captain Richard Phillips “for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa,” the U.S. Navy freed that kidnapped man and captured the surviving kidnapper.
Kudos to the heroes of our armed forces.
Since President Obama signed off on this mission, I congratulate him on acting decisively to release the captain without agreeing to any of the pirates’ demands. Kudos, Mr. President, you got this one right.
Blogger Tigerhawk (via Glenn) has two questions: “What will we do with the prisoner? Do we believe that this action is sufficient to restore deterrence against piracy?”
While we need do much more to keep the sea lanes open and free from such threats, we should be celebrating today. Credit is due to our armed forces and the President. He ordered the rescue plan; they executed it. It’s a good day for America.
Let’s hope the President’s success today spurs him to act so aggressively when similar threats arise and to prevent them from happening.
UP-UPDATE: Drawing on his knowledge of ancient history, Victor Davis Hanson alerts us to what we must do next. “To end Somali piracy, disproportionate measures against the shore should be takenâ€”for every one pirate assault, a lethal air assault should immediately follow“:
Pompey’s victories over the Cilician pirates, the Venetian clean-up of the Mediterranean sea-lanes, and the British success in stopping Caribarrean piracy were all predicated on going ashore, destroying the docks, headquarters, and homes of the pirates.
UP-UP-UPDATE: Looksl like the Captain is himself a hero of his own rescue. “Reports say Captain Phillips jumped overboard again, and the US Navy moved in â€” killing three of the pirates and taking one into custody.”